Ashwellthorpe Gardening Club is hoping to increase its membership, so please share this information with friends and family and anyone you think might be interested, especially if they are new to the area. Non-members can pay a£2.00 “drop-in” fee and are very welcome.

Here is the programme for the rest of the year:

Tuesday 4 April 2017 – Speaker: Hilary Read “Making a Wildlife Pond”

Saturday 17/Sunday 18 June 2017 – OPEN GARDENS WEEKEND

Sunday 13 August 2017 – 2.00 p.m. Outing to Raveningham Gardens

Tuesday 3 October 2017 – to be advised

Tuesday 5 December 2017 – Christmas Party


The Wreningham and District Women’s Institute meets at Ashwellthorpe Village Hall, The Street, Ashwellthorpe, on the second Tuesday each month starting at 7.30 p.m. (unless indicated otherwise). The President for 2017 is Mrs Shirley Moss (01508 489460) and the Secretary is Mrs Carole Bradford (01508 489211), both of Ashwellthorpe. You’re very welcome to come along to any meeting to see what the WI is all about and enjoy the varied programme of talks and demonstrations.


Tuesday 10 January          Speaker: George Rockingham from PACT – Competition: Christmas Card depicting animals

Tuesday 14 February         Bring and Buy

Tuesday 14  March               Speaker: Patsy Martin on EXTEND classes – Competition: A Recipe for a Healthy Dessert

Wednesday 22 March         Birthday Meal (not at Village Hall)

Tuesday 11 April                  Speaker: Dave Balcombe “Looking out for Whales and Dolphins” – Competition: A Picture of Wildlife from a Magazine

Wednesday 12 April           Joint Meeting of the Kett Group of local WIs (not at Village Hall)

Tuesday 9 May                      Resolutions Meeting – Discussion and vote on the National Federation of Women’s Institutes AGM

Tuesday 13 June                   Speaker: Amy Newmeir “My Suitcase, My Patience and Him!” – Competition: Things I have lost while on Holiday

Tuesday 11 July                     Afternoon Summer Party (venue to be agreed)

Tuesday 8 August                 Speaker: Anna Meek “The Galapagos Islands” – Competition: Photo of Favourite Holiday Destination

Tuesday 12 September        Speaker: Stan Chapman “The History and Role of a Magistrate” – Competition: Howe many words can you make from “magistrate”?

Tuesday 10 October              “Edith Cavell”  Meet Nurse Edith Cavell in the early hours of 12th October 1915 with Georgette Vale – Competition: An Autumn Fruit, Flower or Vegetable in a nice setting

Tuesday 14  November          Annual General Meeting of the Wreningham and District Women’s Institute

Tuesday 12 December          Christmas Party with “The West End Waiters”





The next meeting of Ashwellthorpe Gardening Club will be at The Piggeries, Hall Farmhouse, Ashwellthorpe at 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday 11 October. Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal, who live in the village and are co-authors of several books including “The Herbalist’s Bible” and “Kitchen Medicine”, will be talking about garden plants and weeds and how we can use them,  and will be bringing with them slides, plants and copies of their books.

If you wish to come along to this meeting and join the Gardening Club, phone Debbie de Spon on 01508 488300



The Players are holding a Murder Mystery Evening at Wreningham Village Hall on Friiday 30 September 2016 – come along and see if you can work out who it was. More details nearer the time.


DON’T FORGET – the outing on THURSDAY 16 JUNE will be a private tour of Blacksmith’s Cottage Nursery, Langmere Road,  Dickleburgh (Postcode IP21 4QA starting at 6.30 p.m.  Ben Potterton, the owner and Nurseryman, will give a short talk and a tour of the gardens which are home not only to many different plants, but also to kookaburras, cranes, storks, miniature donkeys, squirrel monkeys and alpacas. Please contact the Secretary, Debbie de Spon, on 01508  488300 (a) if you wish to go on this outing and (b) if you also want to car share and (c) if you wish to become a member of Ashwellthorpe Gardening Club.


Two matches have been held this year for the first time, between Ashwellthorpe and Wymondham Shuffleboard teams – the first being in our Village Hall and the return match in the North Wymondham Community Hall in Lime Tree Avenue. The first match was held on Wednesday 10 February  and the Wymondham Shufflers had to hold a draw to decide which eight players from Wymondham would make up their team for the eight Singles matches arranged here. The Ashwellthorpe players were Alan Dawson, Rosemary Lee, Keith Longmore, Louise McNair Young, Shirley Moss, Gordon Robbie, John Saunders and Liz Saunders.

Amid rising tension and excitement, the scores from each match were low and close which denotes a tight, even, competitive game with each player not wanting the opponent to score points, and one match was drawn!  The final tally was a Wymondham win by 4 matches to 3 with 1 drawn. Wine and nibbles were taken during the course of the evening and at the end of the competition, friendly doubles games were held between various people. A return match in Wymondham was fixed for later in the year.

At the return match in Wymondham, the format was slightly different with four doubles and nine singles matches being played on the two courts set up in the Hall, with the mats used being the poly-plastic clip-together variety. Not only are these mats longer than the rubber roll-out mats used in Ashwellthorpe, the surfaces are also incredibly quick. In some of their club meetings, Wymondham Shufflers add wax to the base of the discs used before adding the silicone gel which aids the movement of the discs. Quite a lot of difference for our Ashwellthorpe team to get used to!

Annette and Paul Bunting  took the places of Keith Longmore and Louise McNair Young at the re-match and Jennifer Robbie was the ninth member to compete in the Singles. The evening was long but flew by with the four doubles matches being played first – Wymondham winning three out of these four matches. Refreshments also flowed and were enjoyed during the whole evening which went on to encompass nine singles matches. Ashwellthorpe came out on top in these Singles winning by 5 matches to 4.

A few photographs can be seen below with the first being the February match in Ashwellthorpe Village Hall, with the Wymondham Shufflers having an elevated view of the matches in progress


l to r John Saunders, Jennifer Robbie, Liz Saunders, Shirley Moss at North Kett Community Hall, Wymondham 15 April 2016

l to r John Saunders, Jennifer Robbie, Liz Saunders, Shirley Moss at North Kett Community Hall, Wymondham 15 April 2016

centre of picture cluster: l to r from Annette Bunting in red, Rosemary Lee, Alan Dawson, Paul Bunting

centre of picture cluster: l to r from Annette Bunting in red, Rosemary Lee, Alan Dawson, Paul Bunting


The next meeting of the Gardening Club will take place at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday 13 April 2016 at The Piggeries, Hall Farmhouse, The Street, Ashwellthorpe when the speaker will be John Everett, talking about his subject of beekeeping – for example, on the life cycle of a bee and the different types of bee. He will be happy to answer questions and to suggest bee friendly plants for your gardens.

Subs for 2016 at £12 for the year are now being collected by the Treasurer, Nick de Spon – please drop your sub or a cheque for that amount (made out to Nick de Spon) in the letterbox at 103 The Street, Ashwellthorpe.

The June 2016 will be an evening visit to a place to be announced nearer the time but the Summer Outing is confirmed for Sunday 14 August 2016 at 2.00 p.m. (Cost £4.50) This will be a visit to the garden of Lake House, Brundall, which Janet Muter and her husband have restored and which is occasionally opened under the National Garden Scheme. But the Ashwellthorpe Gardening Club visit will be a private tour,  given by the Muters, of the garden which includes a series of ponds which descend through a wooded valley to the shore of the lake and which has steep paths winding through the valley planted with a variety of shrubs and seasonal flowers which attract rare birds, dragonflies and mammals. It is planned that there will be tea taken afterwards at a place to be announced.


“HANSEL and GRETEL” on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 February 2016 at Wreningham Village Hall  

is this year’s Panto, written by Alan Miller and staged by the Ashwren Players at Wreningham Village Hall. Ashwren Players have been performing for many years and  draw on the talents  of people of all ages from Ashwellthorpe, Wreningham and other surrounding villages, who get together nearly every year and, after much hard work and lots of fun, put on a Panto.

Tickets costing £6.00 available now from 01508 488123 for performances at 7.30 p.m. on Friday 19 February, 2.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. on Saturday 20 February 2016. There are concessions available on the Friday night and the Saturday Matinee performances only – full prices for eeryone on Saturday night.


Ashwellthorpe Gardening Club meets every alternate month  at The Piggeries, Hall Farmhouse, The Street, Ashwellthorpe (next the Church), at 7.30 p.m. Tea, Coffee and Biscuits will be provided. If you wish to join this very friendly Gardening Club, please contact the Secretary – Debbie de Spon – on 01508 488300.

Tuesday 16 February 2016 – Our Speaker is Gabi Reid from Garbriel’s Garden in Gissing, who sows, grows, cuts and arranges beautiful cottage garden flowers, wild flowers, grasses, herbs and foliage for use in the home or special events and weddings. Gabi will tell the story of the development from scratch of her smallholding.

Wednesday 13 April 2016 – Speaker and Subject to be announced

Thursday 16 June 2016 – ‘Summer Special’

Sunday 14 August 2016 – GARDENING CLUB OUTING

Tuesday 11 October 2016 – Speaker and Subject to be announced

Friday 9 December 2016 – CHRISTMAS PARTY

Lynn Preston is arranging the speakers for this year and more details on them and on the Summer Special and Club Outing will follow shortly.


The Wreningham & District Women’s Institute meets at Ashwellthorpe Village Hall on the SECOND TUESDAY of each month from 7.30 p.m. The President for 2016 is Mrs Shirley Moss and the Secretary is Mrs Carole Bradford both of Ashwellthorpe. You’re very welcome to come along to any meeting to see what the WI is all about and enjoy the varied programme of talks and demonstrations.

The 2016 programme is given below:

Tuesday 12 January 2016     Miss Lucy Whigham from East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) will be talking about this local Charity.

Competition: Christmas Card depicting Children

Tuesday 9 February 2016     No Speaker or Competition but the annual Bring and Buy Stall

Tuesday 8 March 2016           Mrs Anna Meek will speak on an “African Adventure”

Competition: Something from or relating to Africa

Tuesday 17 March 2016         The Annual Birthday Party which marks  the anniversary of Wreningham & District WI’s first meeting

Tuesday 12 April 2016            Mr Chris Preston will be talking about the Charity Arthritis Care and its work

Competition: THREE Keep Fit Tips

Wednesday 13 April 2016      The Meeting of the Kett Group comprising several local WI groups. This meeting is not necessarily held in Ashwellthorpe – contact the Secretary on 01508 489211 for further details

Tuesday 10 May 2016               Resolutions which have been raised for adoption at the National Federation of Women’s Institutes’ Annual General Meeting are discussed and voted upon at this meeting. The business of the evening will be followed by a Quiz.

Tuesday 14 June 2016             Mr David Knock and Miss Angela Knock will give a talk about Traditional Toys

Competition: An Old Toy of Mine

Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 June 2016  The two days of the Royal Norfolk Show

Tuesday 12 July 2016              Summer Party


Tuesday 9 August 2016          Mrs Ruth Smith will give a talk on “Life with Nanny”

Competition: Old Family Photo

Tuesday 13 September 2016   Mr David Boulton will be giving a talk and exhibition of “Images sof Broadland”

Competition: Something from Norfolk

Tuesday 11 October 2016       The talk and demonstration tonight will be “Christmas Magic” – Flower Arranging for Christmas – given by Mrs Jacquie Aldous

Competition: Last Rose of Summer

Tuesday 8 November 2016      The Annual General meeting of Wreningham & District Women’s Institute

Tuesday 13 December 2016     Christmas Party